Deep Dark Chocolate and Ghostly Meringue Cupcakes

October 31st, 2014

 ghost cupcake closeup

Happy Halloween! So I just want to say now that all these years before when I would do the ritual complaint of, "Things are so crazy busy around the holidays!" I was saying this without a kid. Now that I have a kid, I truly understand what CRAZY BUSY around the holidays mean.

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Homemade Halloween: Making “Twix” Bars

October 22nd, 2014

Homemade Twix bars stack

With Halloween coming up next week. I'm finishing all my preparations, which mostly involve putting together Isabelle's costume and moving all the pumpkins in the house back to their designated places, after she's moved them all again for the twentieth time. Apparently pumpkins are way more fun than her regular toys - who knew?

I've stocked up on candy for trick or treaters, but I couldn't resist going into kitchen to make some sweets from scratch. This year, it's a homemade rendition of one of my favorite candies from childhood - the Twix bar.

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Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream and Apples

October 14th, 2014

Apple Salted Caramel Chocolate cake closeup

Indian summer continues on in full swelter here in the bay area. It's honestly the hottest it's been here for the last six months: the mornings start out promisingly grey and overcast, and then by mid-morning it's just cloudless sky and shimmering heat. Not-so-little-Isabelle is growing out of her summer t-shirts and shorts, clothes I thought I could safely pack away by now but instead I'm desperately hoping will still fit until cooler weather finally arrives.

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Hello Fall: Peach and Brown Sugar Brioche

September 24th, 2014

Peach brioche lineup

Happy fall! Although we've got all sorts of autumn bounty showing up at the market, apples and pears and figs everywhere, I've still got a soft spot for the late harvest peaches. It's sort of like the weather here right now: tentatively overcast, even a tease of rain, and then a brilliantly warm day to remind us that the bay area hasn't let go of all its sunshine yet.

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A Trip to Tillamook and Gougères

September 15th, 2014

Gougeres bowl

Disclosure: I was invited on this trip as a guest of Tillamook. All opinions in this post are my own.

Happy Monday! Here's a post I've been eager to get up - a recap of my trip up to Portland, Oregon to visit the Tillamook factory!

I've been peripherally aware of this Oregon-based brand, but it wasn't until Tillamook did a pop-up shop in San Francisco a few months ago that I got to speak to some of their brand reps and learn more about their products. Although Tillamook is best known for their cheese, they've been rapidly expanding their product line, branching into yogurt and ice cream and even ice cream bars. After going home from the pop-up with a bag full of Tillabars, I was more than happy to get a chance to learn more about Tillamook in-depth.

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Almost Autumn: Grapeskin Flour and Almond Vanilla Madeleines

September 5th, 2014

Mini Almond Madeleines rack 

Happy September! Although we're still weeks away from the end of summer, I know thoughts of fall are already on many minds. Out here in the Bay Area though, the sunny days are just hitting their stride. Short and sunglasses are still out in full force, and it's peak wedding season up in wine country. Thoughts of golden afternoons up among the vineyards is what led to my latest recipe - if I can't be there, at least I can get a little taste...

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